If you are wondering about the link between the two, it is AIDS !
Apparently, Call Centre “Romeos” are one of the leading reasons for increasing AIDS in India.
And Hindu fundamentalists are indirectly helping this by opposing circumcision…which supposedly helps fight AIDS.
Please read on*…
A new AIDS threat is rising in India’s numerous call centers, where young staff are increasingly having unprotected sex with multiple partners in affairs developed during night shifts, a top AIDS expert has warned. [ link ]
…”You will see call center Romeos are a major high risk for HIV,” Solomon said.
However the AIDS expert, Dr Solomon did not present any figures and there is no data on how many call center employees are actually infected with HIV.
Dr Solomon then did a curious “detour” - and blamed “Hindu activists” for hampering India’s anti-AIDS fight. She mentioned a ”recent government study to gauge the acceptance for circumcision…triggered a massive backlash by Hindu fundamentalists”
…and went on to say:
If you go out into the streets and say I will do this (circumcision) to reduce HIV, there will be a chaos…
Vaccines have failed. Microbicides have failed. This is one tool we have in hand but we can’t use it…
All this would have been fine except that Dr Solomon‘s case rests on a shaky foundation.
For one, the effectivenss of male circumcision as an anti-AIDS measure is still very controversial…
and although Dr Solomon boldly proclaims ”Vaccines have failed. Microbicides have failed”, her profile suggests that she herself has not given up on vaccines and microbicides…
Might it have something to do with her various roles and assignments, I wonder?
Dr. Solomon is a member of the advisory board of International AIDS Vaccine Initiative-India…a permanent member on the Microbicides Committee of the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR)…
Dr. Solomon is the Indian Principal Investigator of several pioneering HIV research studies (including)…a Phase III study of 6% CS GEL, a candidate microbicide of CONRAD.
To top off (no pun intended), here is an extract from a study that questions whether circumcision is an effective anti-AIDS measure:
The multi-country Mishra study concluded that circumcision may actually increase transmission of the AIDS virus, however, which is what many earlier studies found. The Brewer Study published in March, 2007, also concluded that circumcision in Kenya, Lesotho, and Tanzania increases the transmission of AIDS.
The United States has one of the highest rates of male circumcision and also one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the developed world, suggesting that circumcision is not helping. Conversely, Finland and Japan have some of the lowest rates of circumcision and also some of the lowest rates of HIV/AIDS. In Australia, the AFAO has now concluded that male circumcision has no role in the Australian HIV epidemic.
As you can see, the jury is still out on circumcision and AIDS…In the meanwhile of course, you have another stick to beat the Hindutva-wadis with!
Curiously no mention of the Vatican’s stance on condoms in the article:
The Catholic Church is telling people in countries stricken by Aids not to use condoms because they have tiny holes in them through which HIV can pass – potentially exposing thousands of people to risk.
The church is making the claims across four continents despite a widespread scientific consensus that condoms are impermeable to HIV.
…The WHO has condemned the Vatican’s views, saying: “These incorrect statements about condoms and HIV are dangerous when we are facing a global pandemic which has already killed more than 20 million people, and currently affects at least 42 million.”
“Islam and Muslims exacerbate the spread of AIDS,” said Professor Amina Wadud of Virginia Commonwealth University, taking to task the behavior of Muslim men who misuse Islam.
“A traditional Islamic theological response can never cure AIDS.” She cited Muslim men who compelled sex upon their wives even though the men were HIV-positive as a result of extramarital affairs.
but I forgot, the focus is on Hindu fundamentalists!
* P.S. Special thanks to Sh Krishen Kak for alerting me to this and for his links on the efficacy – or not – of circumcision as a method of controlling AIDS .